My Grandma Smith kept a journal from 1977-1987. There is not much for her posterity to read about her earlier life. There is though, a letter to her friend from 1944 during WWII, when many people were devoting their thoughts and time to bigger matters than a wedding. This letter says so little, and yet so much about Grandma Neva. She was a woman of great faith. She was happy. She took pleasure in many small things. Of all the wonderful things I remember about her when I knew her, I know more now than ever because of this simple letter to a friend expressing the joy she feels being a newlywed.
You see what writing does? It reveals so much about us.
I have so many things to catalog, so they'll be remembered. Life gives you and me so much to catalog, don't you think? So much to not just experience and to know, but to love.
People. People are fascinating, and we're lovable. We're complex. We like to think we know each other well, but we don't really, not even our family. It's probably because we humans are always changing, or at least our perceptions of humans are. Don't you just love people's quirks? Their passions? I love to hear about where people come from and why they do what they do. With this in mind, I'll write about the people I've encountered (or will encounter.)
Experiences. Gordon B. Hinckley once said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Wise words, no?
I know I'm a tad too philosophical and I'm going to go a step further now and insert a quote of religious scripture here. If you're not a member of my church, then hey, at least you're getting exposed to some interesting cultural info. In the Doctrine & Covenants, section 59, it talks about "things which strengthen the body, enliven the soul, please the eye, and gladden the heart." Isn't this a wonderful guide for what to seek?
More simply, those in my religion believe in seeking after things which are "virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy." I welcome any and all input. What do you think is lovely? If you tell me, I'll be sure to put out a good report for you. If you think it's worthy of praise, well then, drop me a line. Best of all is virtue. This idea is one we don't hear about much anymore. Virtue is, and don't get mad at me cause I'm dropping in another Gordon B. Hinckley quote, "the fruit of self mastery."
I know this isn't just a Mormon ideal. Mastering yourself is something Buddhist monks do, same with CIA agents.
I choose to entertain the best part of me so as to learn how to master myself. If you know of things which do this, why not pass them along?
In so doing, we're learning to be connoisseurs. Let's be expert judges on matters of taste. Let's enjoy life and the things in it, and let's pass these things along. Have at it, Trendsetters!
Last of all, I'd like to write about simple pleasures. These are things worthy of gratitude, and stuff that we Mormons and perhaps other religious folk like to call "tender mercies." Blessings, if you want to go the more traditional route.
For example, these wild flowers next to my house seem small, but they're enough to make me want to go hug Ralph, my neighbor, for planting them.
Well, there you have it. My blog. It won't be anything worthwhile if someone besides me doesn't contribute. My mom, dad, and sisters will, I know. So if it's just our immediate family's musings, I'll be content.
If you're a Smith family member or are just interested, here is my Grandma's journal: